The Story of the American Accounting Association Foundation

The American Accounting Association Foundation is built upon the distinguished history of the American Accounting Association (AAA). Incorporated in 1916 as "The American Association of University Instructors in Accounting, the American Accounting Association is the preeminent, global association of accountants in academia. Its rich and reputable history has been built upon teaching excellence, leading-edge research, and scholarly publications. For over 100 years, its diverse membership has cultivated a fertile environment for collaboration and innovation. Throughout its history, engagement with the practice community has been a tenant of advancing the discipline of accounting.

In 2021, the American Accounting Association began to examine ways to increase engagement with a broader group of stakeholders with a goal to achieve greater impact in the areas of teaching and research. At the same time, the AAA began to explore opportunities to develop programming that was relevant and inclusive to the broader Accounting Profession, as well as protecting public interest. This included programs to increase student interest in majoring in accounting, programs to support and grow the pool of future accounting educators, as well as providing opportunities for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging training.

To advance and support programming and initiatives, and to broaden impact of these efforts within the Accounting Ecosystem, the AAA's Board of Directors, in May of 2023, unanimously approved the formation of the American Accounting Association Foundation - a separate, independent 501(c)(3). Like other professional associations with independent Foundations (AICPA, IMA, IIA, etc.), the creation of the American Accounting Association Foundation provides an opportunity to expand the AAA's brand and outreach, as well as creating a new vehicle to obtain funding, without encroaching on funding provided to the American Accounting Association or its special interest sections. The AAA Foundation is distinct from other accounting professional foundations in that it focuses on academic endeavors, and it broadly defines the accounting profession rather than organizations that generally focus on a single designation or certification. Along with individual and corporate funding, the American Accounting Association Foundation will seek funding from other Foundations with aligned missions and vision.

With a focus on impact and reach, and to protect the public interest, the AAA's Board of Directors thoughtfully selected members from the broader accounting profession to serve as the inaugural Board of Trustees of the American Accounting Association Foundation. Following is the roster of the inaugural Board of Trustees:

  • Markus Ahrens, St. Louis Community College
  • Liz Barentzen, Center for Audit Quality
  • Geoffrey Brown, Illinois CPA Society
  • Mark Dawkins, University of North Florida
  • Mike DePrisco, Institute of Management Accountants
  • Ben Ellingson, Eide Bailly LLP
  • Jennifer Joe, Virginia Tech
  • George Krull, Grant Thornton LLP (Retired Partner), Chair
  • Catherine Moy, BDO LLP
  • Matt Owen, Qurate Retail Group
  • Katie Patel, PwC LLP
  • Lindsay Patterson, Institute of Internal Auditors
  • Marshall Pitman, University of Texas at San Antonio, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Dennis Reigle, Arthur Andersen LLP (Retired Partner)
  • Mark Taylor, University of South Florida

In August 2023, during his inaugural address at the American Accounting Association's Annual Meeting, Mark Taylor, AAA Board President 2023-2024, announced the official launch of the American Accounting Association Foundation. President Taylor then presented the Foundation with its first donation. Shortly following the announcement, the Board held its first meeting on August 9, 2023, in Aurora, Colorado.

In November 2023, the American Accounting Association Foundation held a Strategic Planning Meeting in Chicago. At the meeting, the Board of Trustees were aligned in their belief that the implications and ramifications of the initiatives and programming it supports, will cross boundaries and be broader in scope than any single professional association or organization would achieve on its own. The American Accounting Foundation seeks incremental, new funding for programs and initiatives that encompass five distinct pillars that support the Foundation's Mission:

To ensure a vibrant and thriving Accounting Profession.

The pillars include Teaching Excellence, Research Relevance and Impact, Supporting Advanced Degrees in Accounting, Raising Awareness of the Accounting Profession, and Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Accounting Profession.

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